Introduction to Computer Science
Computer science is the study of the theoretical foundations of computing and how computers are used to solve practical problems. Computer science subsumes many specialties, including software engineering, operating systems, computer languages, database systems, robotics, computer graphics, artificial intelligence, networking and the internet, computer design and engineering, computer-human interaction, web page design, gaming, mobile devices, automatic speech recognition, data mining, and speech synthesis, to name a few.
Many of the applications of computer science are fundamentally multidisciplinary. Computer scientists are working in diverse disciplines such as engineering, physics, psychology, business, mathematics, linguistics, art, music, biochemistry, and biomedical engineering.
The computer science program at WLC provides a thorough practical and theoretical knowledge of the core curriculum, giving students a strong foundation for advanced study in any of the specialization areas of computer science. Our program emphasizes strong programming skills, and in-depth theoretical and practical study of data modeling, algorithms, object oriented design and problem solving skills.
Students who major or minor in computer science at WLC are well-prepared to directly enter the workforce as computer professionals or to continue their computer science studies in graduate school or to use their computer science skills to complement a major or minor in another discipline.
The Wisconsin Lutheran College computer science lab has a network of computers that dual boot in Windows and Linux. Students have 24x7 physical access to the lab with remote access also available. A broad variety of programming languages are supported. In Windows, we use the professional version of Microsoft's Visual Studio. In Linux we work in the GNU environment. We emphasize C++ as a primary programming language, but students also work in Java, Perl, Python, SQL, and other languages as appropriate.
The Computer Science Curriculum
The curriculum is divided into a 19-credit core curriculum and a group of electives. All students majoring or minoring in computer science must take all the courses in the core curriculum plus an appropriate number of elective courses.
- Introduction to Programming
- Data Structures
- Object Oriented Design and Software Development
- Computer Organization and Assembly Language
- Database Systems
- Data Communication
- Internet Programming
- Programming Languages
- Operating Systems
- Computer Graphics
- Artificial Intelligence
- Numerical Analysis (Mathematics or Physics)
- Operations Research (Mathematics)
- Computerized-Instrumentation Design (Physics)
- Special Topics (based on student interest and staff availability)
A major in computer science consists of at least 45 credits composed of the 19-credit core curriculum, at least 12 credits of computer science electives, a 3-credit senior capstone experience and 11 credits of collateral courses from the mathematics department (Statistics, Calculus I, and Discrete Mathematics).
A minor in computer science consists of the 19-credit core curriculum, at least 3 credits of computer science electives, and 8 collateral credits in mathematics (Calculus I and Discrete Mathematics).